Align Your Life With Values: Understanding Your Why

“But why?!” This is simple question asked on a regular basis by every 3 and 4 year old I have ever met. It may get old after the umpteenth time, but there is no denying the wisdom in a child’s curiosity and inquisitive nature. At what age do we stop asking ourselves why and go to autopilot? Driven by societal norms. In business and in life, it is essential to make time to tap into out inner child and ask our own “why”.

Some people just know at the onset of their working life what kind of work they would be passionate about, the kind of work that would give their life purpose and meaning. When I was a preteen all I dreamed of was working on-camera. There was something about it that I felt drawn to, it lite me up inside but I never believed I could make a living out of it. Maybe you have felt the same about something you have been called to do. Society, family, or circumstances fill your head with all the reasons you can’t but Why not? I am now doing what I love, while tapping into the gifts and passion that was always inside me. I’ve learned to listen to my intuition and try to stay on path focusing on what I do best and my “why” behind it all.

Some people never listen to that pull inside them and their lives seem as if they’re lacking or missing something. Digging deep, reflecting and asking tough questions, can help you find increased meaning and direction in all areas of life.

Values shape our lives. You all ready have them and you are all ready living them, but if you haven’t clearly identified them and have consciously decided which ones are important, it is easy to get lost.

Buddha said, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” Lets start by diving into the depths of your thoughts and find to the root of what you truly value.

Ask your self these questions first:

Why am I in this job?

Why did I decide to choose this career or job path (or DID I)?

What do I have a passion for that brings me true joy and contentment?

Now that you asked the “why”? Lets determine the “what” or “value” behind the first three.

What do you value most in life and have you discovered your passion?

How did you discover it – was it self-apparent or did you discover it by accident?

What steps do you take to ensure you spend time on your passions and are able to follow your heart?

It’s one thing to recognize the values you posses and an entirely different thing to understand what these values will actually bring to your life.  Let’s reconstruct your values. Specify important or reoccurring activities in your life, whether they are cultural, spiritual, professional or athletic. This helps you to then identify the values that create congruence between your values and your life. Activities that bring your true joy are big indicators of your values. Where do you feel most connected? This feeling occurs only when your values and life are aligned.

You have determined what activities are important, this is only half the battle, now take it one step further and identify underlying values. In this reconstruction process, re-framing success in a way that is cohesive with your values is important. If you are able to do that, then you create YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF SUCCESS and set meaningful goals. “When we know what is truly important to us we are able to make choices and decisions that meet our deepest needs and wants because our actions are aligned with our values”

OK, so I have asked you to reconstruct. You are a clean slate. Reverting back to the values you were raised with. You have hopefully come to understand that these values and activities make you truly happy. Now is the challenge. It is time to live life your life according to the newly clarified values. This means placing an emphasis on and committing to activities, experiences and people, in both your work and personal life that express these values.

Knowing what matters most will enable us to live a truly happy life. Every person reading this has different priorities and dreams, but discovering what is important to YOU and YOU only is the most valuable tool you can bring into life. We can make more meaningful contributions to our relationships and work, while being completely content with ourselves.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, is the greatest accomplishment.”

Shine ON!!




© 2012 Inspired Living, LLC

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gary Cameron

    Great article, Keri!! I went through a very similar phase of my life last year where I was blessed with the opportunity to reassess everything I had been doing for the last 2 decades. Having been through this experience, I love how you walk through the critical questions and values that each person must figure out for themselves to find their true passion. For those who read this, I can tell you that living a life that fulfills your passions and core values is one of the best gifts a person can ever give to themselves.

  2. Diane

    Thanks once again, Keri! Your articles are always inspiring and thought provoking. I appreciate you!
    Great quote from Emerson and very timely for a situation I’m currently addressing…

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